An Air Quality Warning was issued for Santa Barbara County on Monday, and will remain in effect until conditions improve, according to the county Air Pollution Control District.
“At this time, air quality in Santa Barbara County is expected to continue being affected through the end of the week,” said Lyz Hoffman, the district’s public information officer.
Hourly air quality updates are available on the agency website by clicking here.
The warning is due to an “unprecedented number” of wildfires throughout the state that are producing significant smoke, Hoffman said.
The smoke is held in the upper atmosphere and is reaching ground level throughout California.
“This is a dynamic situation, and local air quality can deteriorate quickly,” Hoffman said.
Areas of smoke are expected to continue at least through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Levels of smoke and particles in affected areas will differ, the warning said.
“If you see or smell smoke in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family’s health,” it added.
When air quality reaches unhealthy levels, people should remain indoors as much as possible, avoid strenuous outdoor activity, and close windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing the smoke indoors.
The APCD advised to avoid driving when possible, and to use the “recirculate” mode to avoid drawing smokey air into vehicles.
People with heart or lung conditions, older adults, pregnant women, and children should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when there are high concentrations of smoke in the air, according to the APCD.
Drinking plenty of fluids will help to keep respiratory membranes moist, and the use of N-95 masks helps to provide protection, the agency said.
“The best protection against wildfire smoke is to stay indoors as much as possible when smoke is present,” Hoffman said.
The county’s South Coast areas are expected to see daytime highs in the mid- to upper-70s through Saturday, with overnight lows in the mid-50s.
Inland and some North County areas should see highs in the upper-80s and low-90s.
Cloudy mornings are expected until Tuesday, and patchy fog is in the forecast from Thursday through Sunday.
Click here for the latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
— Noozhawk staff writer Jade Martinez-Pogue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.